Péter Szilágyi of the Ethereum Foundation announced on Twitter this morning a delay in the arrival of Constantinople to the Ropsten testnet. Once scheduled for block number 4,200,000, which was estimated to happen between October 8 and 9, the fork has been pushed back to block number 4,230,000 (roughly five days later).
Are you surprised?
Ethereum developers have caught a lot of slack for delays in development. Constantinople was originally "planned" for eight months after Byzantium, but that didn't happen. It seems that sharding and proof of stake have been "coming" forever. This has led some to lose faith in Ethereum (or at least wage bets on the timeliness of updates), however unfairly.
But maybe this is reason to be optimistic rather than cynical.
In the runup to the last hard fork (Byzantium), developers caught a denial-of-service vulnerability in Geth's code days before the mainnet launch. This was almost an entire month after the clients had forked the testnet.
This time around, it isn't an issue with any one client, but the code of one of the Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) to be included in the hard fork, EIP 1014: Skinny CREATE2. Piper Merriam of the Ethereum Foundation created a GitHub repository for the necessary updates, including links to explanations of the problem and the proposed solution. The issue was apparently discovered back in August, and was recognized due to its similarity to a vulnerability related to the CREATE opcode that was exploited in June 2017.
Now, according to Szilágyi, the community has decided to give clients some extra time to implement and test an update to the CREATE2 code ahead of the Ropsten hard fork.
Fingers crossed they manage to make the new deadline and fork Ropsten before Devcon4.